A Community United

CPH_1732_ACommunityUnited_Jul15_Logo_FB_HeaderThe sounds of Charleston during the summer time are unique and easily recognized by tourists and locals. You can often hear the distinct hum of cicadas, the clop, clop of horse’s hooves on the pavement as they carry tourists through the historic district of our beloved Holy City, and the ringing of church bells on almost every corner. However, on the night of June 17th, all those sounds seemed to stop. Nine innocent men and women were shot during their regular Wednesday night bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church. The church lost their senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney and nine families lost their loved ones. Would the Charleston community ever be the same?

Only time will tell but in the days after the tragedy, Charleston emerged as a strongly unified city. Grief and anger turned to love. The sounds of singing, prayer and encouragement filled the air. The community of Charleston had not backed down in fear; instead, they united in love, inspired to find ways to help those affected and make a change in our community.

Almost over night, more than 50 restaurateurs and beverage purveyors, under the direction of Mickey Bakst, General Manager of Charleston Grill, came together to donate food and beverage for a fundraising event for the families.

The event is already being described as unforgettable. Being held July 9th from 6:30-9:30pm in the Belmond Charleston Place Grand Ballroom, A Community United Event will donate 100% of the proceeds to the families of Emanuel AME. The event is also hosting an auction, available to supporters around the world. Beginning July 3rd at noon and ending July 9th at midnight, the more than 250 items are as varied as a VIP Grammy ticket package, 8-night Cape Town and Safari camp package and more than 100 pieces of art. Additional auction items will be available during the event. The evening will include music by The Mark Sterbank Group and the Lowcountry Voices gospel choir along with a program featuring Charleston and AME Church leaders. 100% of proceeds from the auction and the event will be donated directly to the nine families whose lives were forever changed that night.

Tickets for the event are $200 and can be purchased here.

If you are unable to attend the event, you can still support by participating in the auction online. All bids can be activated directly from your mobile phone.  View items and bid.

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Concierge’s Top Hidden Things to do in Charleston

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Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation is charting the open seas on a 49-foot yacht with friends and family. Or perhaps challenging your culinary skills and spending an evening with a famous local chef is more your forte. Whatever it is that you wish to do during your stay in Charleston, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place is here to make it happen for you.

Our concierge are well-versed in all things Charleston and can offer recommendations on where to find the most savory Lowcountry cuisine, provide directions to Charleston’s grandest attractions and open doors to activities not typically offered to Charleston visitors. Here at Belmond Charleston Place, we would like to make your stay with us an unforgettable experience by helping you discover the charming, hidden parts of Charleston that are typically not otherwise open to the public. All you have to do is ask!

Below is a list of excursions we can arrange that guests may not find on their own.

For the gardener: Exclusive private walking tour of Charleston’s private gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

For the golfer: Tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both of which are closed to the public.

For the sailor: Charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

For the theologist: A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by Fran Bennett, including Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

For the architectural enthusiast: An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

For the romantic: A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

For the adventurer: A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

For the historian: Explore African-American history in the Lowcountry and the surrounding sea islands with a private Gullah driving tour.

For the foodie: Enjoy the top culinary destination in the nation with a personalized culinary walking tour of local restaurants and neighborhoods.

For a special occasion: Savor a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Whether you’re the type of traveler to follow an adventurous itinerary or if your ideal vacation only requires a few beach chairs and catching up on some R&R, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place wants to make your stay in Charleston a journey like no other. Download our Concierge’s Top Hidden things to do in Charleston list here, see our sample itineraries for Charleston here, or call us at 843 722 4900 today to start planning your next unforgettable trip to Charleston!

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Haint Blue and its Historic Ties

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If you have ever strolled through the charming streets of downtown Charleston, it is likely that you’ve caught a glimpse of the soft blue paint that graces the ceilings of the Holy City’s most iconic porches. From some of the most historic houses in the Lowcountry to modern single family homes, ceilings splashed with shades of “haint blue” have become increasingly prevalent throughout the years. While some believe the purpose behind the colorful accent is simply to create a charming appearance and a relaxing ambiance, others believe the baby blue ceilings represent an anecdote of historical (and spooky) significance.

 Now mimicked by paint companies, the first ever haint blue color is said to have originated from Gullah Culture in the Carolinas hundreds of years ago. The Gullah people created the faded blue color using a mixture of milk, indigo dye, lime, and other pigments on hand. Although there is no real evidence to support it, many Southerners claim that haint blue also has the ability to banish bugs, a reputation likely stemming from the original integration of lime, a natural insect repellent.

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Legend has it that painting porch ceilings, door frames, and window frames with a coat of the light blue color will protect homeowners by chasing away haints, or evil, restless spirits who have yet to move on from the physical world. While this might sound far-fetched, don’t be too quick to rule it out as a myth. In a historically haunted city such as Charleston, many local homeowners still believe there to be some truth in this longstanding tradition.

Superstitions aside, many people opt for the calming blue color on porch ceilings as a way to imitate the sky, extend daylight hours, and create a tranquil setting for an area often intended for rest and relaxation. Whatever the true purpose behind it may be, it is Southern traditions such as this that make Charleston so extraordinary!

Concierge Tip: Stop into the Calhoun Mansion on 16 Meeting Street between 11am and 5pm for a tour of the largest private residence in Charleston. Learn more about the home and its haint blue porch ceilings or follow this walking route to see more examples.

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